Childhood Economic Strains in Predicting Substance Use in Emerging Adulthood

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Author(s):   Duke University Medical Center

    • Chien-Ti Lee, PhD
    • F. Joseph McClernon, PhD
    • Scott H. Kollins, PhD
    • Kevin Prybol, BS, MPH
    • Bernard F. Fuemmeler, MPH

      Published: June 21st, 2013 in the Journal of Pediatric Psychology

      Report Intro/Brief:
      "Objective To examine the influence of childhood economic strains on substance use in young adulthood and to assess the mediating roles of self-control as well as positive parenting during adolescence in a nationally representative longitudinal cohort.

      Methods The study included data from participants (n = 1,285) in the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, Child Development Supplement, and Transition to Adult. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate the associations among risk factors during childhood and adolescence that predicted substance use in early adulthood.

      Results Conditions of economic strains, especially poverty, during childhood were associated with an increased likelihood of regular smoking in adulthood, which was partially mediated by poorer self-control during adolescence.

      Conclusions  Self-control is negatively affected by economic strains and serves as a mediator between poverty and risk of regular smoking. Additional research is needed to better understand how economic strains effect the development of self-control."
      -from the abstract of the report